SAYZ: chalk talk with the SKLZ team

Speed is the single most important aspect any athlete can obtain to improve their performance. Improved speed entails many benefits other than just being faster, such as explosiveness, flexibility and strength. Speed is something that transcends every sport. If you are fast, most coaches will give you a shot. When it comes to sports, speed does kill.

As the founder of Play Fast Training System, I have trained some of the NFL’s fastest athletes. They train quite a bit differently than young athletes, honing technique to reach peak levels of speed. However, I believe the most critical aspect of speed training for young athletes is not technique. Most young athletes can’t put technique to use in such a way to enhance their performance, they need to simply run, and run fast. For children to be fast, they have to train fast. The goal for improving your child’s speed isn’t about harping on them about their technique or how bad they look or what they should do better. When taking the time to work on speed, children should be encouraged to run as fast as possible every single step. There should be no letting up when it comes to speed training.


Speed training doesn’t involve being tired. Athletes need to be fresh and fast every time they run. I normally give athletes three to five minutes rest between each rep. I want the athletes to be fully recovered before they run. Remember, athletes need to be able to run as fast as they can every single step.


1- Properly warm-up prior to speed training. When it comes time to sprint most athletes aren’t ready to sprint. A through warm-up will ensure their first rep is their fastest rep.
2- Rest is a top priority for speed: Athletes need to be rested to give all they got. For a distance of under 10 yards, give a minimum of one minute rest, any distance over 20 yards a minimum of three minutes rest.
3- Speed training is short distances: You are no longer training for speed if you’re running over 50 yards.

Myth: Once fast, always fast…
Truth: If you don’t use it, you lose it!

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